Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kidnapping in Sao Paulo

A really sad story that has been all over the Brazilian media (but absent in the international media...I checked the NY times, BBC and CNN and found nothing) over the past couple of days is about a 15 year old girl who died the other day in Sao Paulo due to a crazy kidnapping situation. This version of the story is the explanation that one of my students told me and what I could glean from watching the news in Portuguese.

The girl's name was Eloa, and she had a 22 year old boyfriend who she had been dating for 3 years (why a 19 year old was dating a 12 year old is another story altogether!). This guy was the jealous type, and had even reportedly beat her up over their time dating due to jealousy. So she finally decided to end things and he could not take it. I'm not sure whose house she was at, but he went there, where she was hanging out with 3 friends from school- 2 guys and a girl. Once he arrived, he proceeded to kidnap the 4, and was armed with a gun. The police were called, lots of negociating went on over 4 days, and finally the 2 boys and the one girl were released. But Eloa was not allowed to leave. He seemed on the brink of letting her go, when her friend decided to return to the apartment to try to help Eloa. I'm not sure how long they stayed in the apartment with this guy, but eventually the police got anxious, barged in, and in the process Eloa was shot (she later died in the hospital) and the other girl, named Nayara, was shot in the face but not fatally.

Everyone here is talking about how the police should have waited longer, how they did the wrong thing, how this or that if done differently could have saved the life of Eloa, etc. People were very upset and even strangers were crying about the death of this innocent girl.

I feel really bad for the family and am sad that this tragedy occurred. But it's also a reminder to me about how the media will grab onto a story, make everyone feel bad, and then it's on to the next. A couple of months ago it was all over the news about this poor little 3 year old girl who was murdered by her father and stepmother by pushing her out of the window of a tall apartment building in Sao Paulo. Everyone was in an uproar, and I'm sure that the case is still being investigated, but who knows what the status is, as the news is done reporting about this situation and now it's time for the next.

But it's the same in the USA, so I don't know why I'm surprised that this kind of stuff goes on. I guess it's the nature of the news.


myzonez said...

Actually, the police isn't to blame for what happened to Eloa. The police were just trying to free her. But they could have waited for sure. But who knows what the boy is doing to the poor little girl? So the police guys got a bit responsible and headed stubbornly to save the girl.

joel said...

..stumbled upon this while doing a search on kidnappings in sao paulo why they happen and why it's sucha big problem. This is another dimension to the story-no gang involved so sorry for Eloa

Dickon Springate said...

I spotted your post while I was trying to get verification of what the final verdict was as I clearly remember watching this in my Sao Paulo hotel reception at the time.

Good write up and helps fill in some of the blanks as I speak almost no Portuguese and of course it wasn't a big enough story to get international coverage.